zweikern Lexikon
Hand hält Megaphon und tönt Time to Commit

What is commitment?


Commitment, in the business context, refers to the extent of a employee's voluntary self-dedication to an organization.

Commitment is the cornerstone of employee empowerment. A high level of commitment means that an employee within the company has the opportunity to personally develop, view their work as part of their self-realization, and actively participate in shaping their work environment.

Through this employee engagement, the consequences of high commitment are not only increased work quality and loyalty to the company but also competitive advantages and enhanced productivity.


The concept of commitment in the business context, particularly in relation to employees' dedication to organizations, has its origins in management and organizational psychology. It evolved over time as researchers and practitioners recognized the importance of understanding and fostering a sense of commitment among employees. Here is a brief overview of the origin and development of commitment in the business context:

  1. Early Management Theories: The foundations of the concept of commitment can be traced back to early management theories in the 20th century, including the work of management pioneers like Frederick Taylor and Henri Fayol. These theories focused on improving organizational efficiency and employee performance.

  2. Human Relations Movement: In the 1920s and 1930s, researchers like Elton Mayo conducted studies that highlighted the significance of employee attitudes, motivation, and social interactions in the workplace. This marked a shift towards recognizing the human aspect of organizations and the role of commitment in employee behavior.

  3. Psychological Theories: The development of psychological theories, particularly in the field of organizational psychology, further contributed to the understanding of commitment. Psychologists began to explore topics related to job satisfaction, motivation, and the psychological contract between employees and organizations.

  4. Contemporary Research: In recent decades, commitment has become a central concept in the field of organizational behavior and human resource management. Researchers like Meyer and Allen have developed models such as the Three-Component Model of Organizational Commitment, which categorizes commitment into affective, continuance, and normative dimensions.

  5. Management Practices: Organizations have increasingly recognized the importance of fostering commitment among employees as it is closely linked to factors like retention, performance, and overall organizational effectiveness. Strategies such as employee engagement programs, effective leadership, and a positive organizational culture are used to enhance commitment.

In summary, the concept of commitment in the business context has evolved over time as a result of developments in management theory, organizational psychology, and contemporary research on employee attitudes and behavior. It plays a crucial role in shaping how employees engage with their work and organizations.


  • Dedication
  • Loyalty
  • Devotion

Multidimensional Approach

Commitment is a multidimensional concept, often encompassing three main dimensions: affective, normative, and continuance commitment. This model was developed by Meyer and Allen (1991).

  • Affective Commitment: Refers to an employee’s emotional attachment to the organization, leading to a desire to remain with the organization.

  • Normative Commitment: Refers to a feeling of obligation to stay with the organization.

  • Continuance Commitment: Relates to the costs associated with leaving the organization, such as lost investments in non-transferable benefits or acquired skills.

Occupational Health Management

A high level of commitment can also positively impact employee health. Organizations with high levels of commitment often report fewer sick days and lower turnover rates, thereby enhancing productivity.

Organizational Culture and Climate

Organizational culture and work climate significantly impact employee commitment. A positive, supportive, and inclusive culture can increase engagement and satisfaction, thus strengthening commitment.

Leadership and Management

Effective leadership and supportive management are key components in enhancing commitment. Leaders who communicate a clear vision, support, and value their employees can foster a higher degree of commitment amongst them.

Employee Engagement and Job Satisfaction

Commitment is closely linked with employee engagement and job satisfaction. Employees who feel engaged and satisfied with their work typically show a higher level of commitment to the organization.

Change Management

During times of organizational change, commitment is crucial. Employees who feel connected to the organization are more likely to accept changes and adapt to new conditions and requirements.

Employee Development and Career Paths

Investing in employee development and offering clear career paths can also enhance commitment by showing employees that the organization is investing in their future.

Performance Improvement and Organizational Performance

Finally, employee commitment has a direct impact on performance. It leads to increased motivation, productivity, and creativity, thereby improving the overall performance of the organization.